I-9 Compliance/Audit and E-verify Lawyers | Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

What is Form I-9, and Who Must Comply?

All US Employers must complete a Form I-9 for each person hired after November 6, 1986. The Form I-9 was established into law under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The form requires employers to review and record data from the individual’s original identity and employment authorization document(s), and assess whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual presenting them. In cases for subcontracted workers, subcontractors must be put on notice and sign off on a policy that requires properly documented workers.

What is an I-9 Audit?

At any time, without advanced notice, both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are empowered to perform audits of employers to determine if a company (whether it is a small local employer a large corporation) is in compliance. The key to ensuring compliance is to have strong policies and procedures in place to deal with I-9 preparation and maintenance requirements. Supervisors and management should be trained in the law of documenting workers and the responsibility for completing the I-9s.

What Happens During an Audit?

During an I-9 audit, the employer may be required to present I-9s within three days. Employers facing surprise audits should make every effort to ensure their I-9s are in compliance and that there is an I-9 for each employee hired after November 6, 1986. The I-9s must be fully completed and signed by both the employee and the employer, and expired documents must be updated.

What are the Consequences for not Complying?

Recently on March 27, 2008, the fines for I-9 violations went up. Form I-9 paperwork violations range from a minimum of $110 to a maximum of $1,100. If you have constructive knowledge that and employee is not authorized, the minimum penalty is $375 for a first offense (per worker) to a maximum of $3,200. A subsequent offense (per worker) nets a minimum fine of $3,200 to a maximum of $6,500, and a third offense (per worker) nets a minimum fine of $4,300 to a maximum of $16,000. (source: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=30609, ICE’s Overview of I-9 Audits)

Our I-9 Compliance Services:

We train your company management on I-9 best practices and compliance. We recommend a procedure to fulfill I-9 requirements, and advise on how I-9s can be corrected. For our existing clients we also offer mock audits of your I-9 file (it is best to keep it separate personnel files) to ensure compliance and assist with actual audits at no cost.

I-9 Resources:

- Form I-9

- About Form I-9

- M-274 Handbook for Employers

What is E-verify?

E-Verify is a free Internet-based, program operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to date from US government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem within eight days. Participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers, however, enrollment is required under certain circumstances, most notably, foreign students are only eligible for this extension if their employer participates in the E-verify program.

Contact Us

To discuss I-9 compliance and audits, as well as the E-verify program with an experienced immigration lawyer from the Shah Peerally Law Group, feel free to contact us by email or call us at 510-742-5887.